What’s the Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Implants?

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular procedures available. Despite this popularity, many patients have questions about the basics of the surgery. Dr. Angelchik can answer any questions you might have during a consultation, and you can continue reading to learn more before your appointment.

What is a Breast Augmentation?

A breast augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure which utilizes breast implants to change the appearance of the breasts and achieve a larger, fuller, or more symmetrical look. Breast augmentation can be a great option for patients who feel their breasts are too small, suffer volume loss after breastfeeding or due to aging, or who have naturally asymmetrical breasts. The procedure is highly customizable to create natural or dramatic looking results according to each patients’ preferences and cosmetic goals.

What are Breast Implants?

Breast implants are the medical devices used to complete a breast augmentation. So, “breast augmentation” refers to the surgery itself, while “breast implants” refer to the object used in the surgery. Breast implants are composed of a soft shell filled with either saline or silicone.

Types of Breast Implants

There are many types of breast implants available to achieve various results in a breast augmentation. The two major types are saline or silicone implants.

Saline implants are filled with sterile saltwater. They are approved for use in patients who are 18 years old or older. Saline implants can be precisely filled to reach the patient’s goal results. In case of implant leaks or ruptures, the saline will be safely absorbed by the body. One downside to saline implants is a slightly less natural look and feel as well as the risk of rippling. However, saline implants can look perfectly natural and are often a more cost-effective option.

Silicone implants are filled with a cohesive silicone gel. This creates a more natural feel compared to saline implants. Silicone implants, unlike saline implants, may have what is known as a “silent” leak. This means the implant leaks, but the patient doesn’t notice any difference in appearance or feel. Because of this, monitoring of the implants is advised. Saline implants can also leak, but the leaks tend to be obvious quite quickly, like a “flat tire”. Silicone leakage does not mean that the patient is at risk for a life threatening illness. The implant can be removed or exchanged, and this is done routinely when needed. Silicone implants are more costly than saline.

Along with the materials used in breast implants, there are various shapes and sizes patients can choose from. This includes round vs. teardrop-shaped implants and varying profile heights of the implants. During your consultation, Dr. Angelchik can guide you toward the option that will best achieve your cosmetic goals. Dr. Angelchik uses round implants for breast augmentation, although the profiles may vary depending on the desired aesthetic outcome.

Can I Achieve Larger Breasts Without Implants?

Some patients may be hesitant to have implants placed. In some cases, other techniques can help improve the appearance of the breasts without implants. A breast lift reshapes the natural breast tissue for a lifted and youthful look without using implants, for example. Autologous fat transfer to the breasts, using your own fat, is also an option. During a consultation with Dr. Angelchik, you can review all of your options and determine a personalized treatment plan that is right for you.

Schedule a Consultation

To schedule your consultation with Dr. Angelchik, call our Glendale, AZ office at (602) 932-0178. You can also contact us online by completing this form.

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If you're interested, please contact us today at 602-517-0077 to schedule your consultation. Our office provides excellent plastic surgery to clients in the Glendale, Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise and Peoria areas of Arizona.